Ole Miss ended its season with a win over Florida in the SEC tournament championship game followed by an upset win in the NCAA tournament over fifth-seeded Wisconsin before being bounced by La Salle in the round of 32.
That seems to be enough for Ole Miss to lock up head coach Andy Kennedy with a multi-year extension. Sources told Mike DeCourcy of Sporting News that Kennedy is in line for a four-year extension, a deal that would also bump up his salary from $1.4 million to $1.75 million.
The four-year contract is the maximum a Mississippi state employee can receive under state laws.
Kennedy just finished his seventh season with the Rebels, amassing 152 victories during that stretch. During his tenure, Ole Miss has had 20-win seasons five times, including a 27-9 campaign this season, resulting in Kennedy’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament as the Ole Miss coach. The Rebels had appeared in NIT five times.
Kennedy had three seasons remaining on his previous deal.
Ole Miss was ranked as high as No. 16 in the AP poll this season and could return to the rankings in 2013-2014 with starters Ladarius White and Jarvis Summers coming back for junior seasons … and of course leading-scorer Marshall Henderson set to be back.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.